Update Oct. 13, 2009: Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has now signed this bill into law.
Update Oct. 5, 2009: The Michigan legislature has now passed a Senate substitute version of H.B. 5127. The Senate version is virtually identical to that passed by the House except the effective date of protectons for veal calves was extended to October 1, 2012.
The House concurred in this amendment, and with Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s signature, the bill will become law. This bill which is modeled on California’s Prop 2, will eliminate the worst of the factory farming practices, battery cages for egg laying hens, gestation crates for pregnant sows and tie stalls for veal calves.
Recently, Maine joined Colorado and Arizona in banning these cruel practices for pregnant sows and veal calves. California with its successful Prop 2 will ban cruel confinement for egg laying hens as well. Oregon and Florida ban cruel confinement of pregnant sows. A Prop 2 like measure remains pending in New York’s Assembly.
For more on the cruelty of these practices, go here.
For more on this historic legislation, read Animal Law Coalition’s reports below.
Update Sept. 17, 2009: Yesterday, by a vote of 87-20, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a new version of H.B. 5127, a House substitute version, that would eliminateÂ the worst of the factory farming practices, battery cages for egg laying hens, gestation crates for pregnant sows and tie stalls for veal calves.
Under the substitute version passed yesterday by the House, however, animal food producers would beÂ prohibited from tethering or confining a pregnant sow or veal calf "for all or the majority of a day in a manner that prevents the animal from….[l]ying down, standing up and fully extending the animal’s limbs; andÂ …[t]urning around freely." "Turning around freely" means being able to turn "in a complete circle without any impediment, including a tether, and without touching the side of an enclosure". Egg laying hens would be able to extend their wings fully, something they cannot do now in the typical factory farm. Egg laying hens would be required to have at least 1 square foot of space, not nearly enough.
There would be exceptions for animals that are the subject of scientific or agricultural research; undergoing veterinary treatment and care; being transported; at a rodeo exhibition or state or county fair or 4-H or similar exhibition; or being slaughtered according to law. There would also be an exception for sows during the 7-day period prior to the sow’s expected date of giving birth.
This bill, if it becomes law, would not take effect for veal calves for 1 year and for pigs and egg laying hens for 10 years.